Old Bones

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Immerses Bill Slider in Old Bones found in the yard of a subdivision. Slider has been sidelined from active cases by his bosses as they did not like his involvement in the surfacing of a scandal with underage girls, police and town officials.  Now they send him out to a very cold case of a twenty year old skeleton.  A girl disappeared and her diary and other evidence went missing.  Slider suspects something about the case is off key and starts digging. Enjoy an old fashioned police procedural.
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3.5* rounded up. 

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. While waiting to see if my request would be approved, I borrowed the earliest instalment available (#3) from my local library and enjoyed it so much that I have torn through all the intervening instalments to get up to this one. This series is one of the best police procedural series I have ever read and I highly recommend them.

Some are, of course, better than others. This one was not my favourite. It concerns the discovery of the skeletal remains of a teenage girl behind a garden shed, and that part of the novel was pretty good, despite the fact that I worked out the twist fairly early on. However, there are also large sections which follow on from instalment #18, to the extent that I would not recommend reading this book as a stand alone. This latter strand is depressing and frustrating.

Still, this is worth a read - just read all the others first - you won't regret it.
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this was my first time reading this author & this series.  A satisfying read,  An excellent procedural.
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Bill Does Some Digging......
A Bill Slider mystery. D.C.I Bill Slider, presently not in favour with his senior colleagues, has been assigned a cold case - a very cold case indeed. But... no-one could foresee  what Bill would discover from some very old bones. A well written, fully engaging mystery with credible characterisation and an engrossing storyline. This is part of a series but works perfectly well as a standalone - although the whole series is excellent.. A thoroughly good read.
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This is the first book I have read in this series and I would like to go back and start at the beginning.  Many of DCI Bill Slider’s previous cases were mentioned in this book. This was a good Police procedural.  The characters were well defined and realistic., and I loved the plot.  
Many thanks to Black Thorn and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Bill Slider is not popular with the higher ups after accusing one of being part of a sex and finance case.  He is assigned to a case of old bones.  A garden contractor has turned up what appears to be the full skeleton of a 13 or 14 year old girl, who had probably been dead at least 20 years.  After checking through missing persons cases, they find that a girl living at that address, Amanda Knight, had gone missing 25 years before.   After much work, they track down the mother (father has since died).  The mother is sure her husband couldn't have killed her, even though it would have been difficult for someone outside the family to have buried her in their garden.  

They talk to others who lived nearby and her best friend (who wasn't very close), and her mother's sister.  The best friend does give them a lead that shortly before she died she talked about a rich new friend who went to a fancy private school.   For awhile, it seems like they'll never find someone who they could prosecute.   However, they keep looking, and finally get some real clues!  

The story is very well told and has a big surprise at the end!
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This crime novel is superb! The characters are well developed and realistic, the context and settings are well devised and the author's style of writing is crafted to flow and to make sense. I loved the twist to the tale towards the end. It was pleasure to read and I wanted to devour its entertainment each day that I was reading it.
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Slider’s desert-dry viewpoint is a joy. He is an old fashioned copper who is heartily sick of all the new management-speak, but nonetheless straight as a dye without being remotely starchy. His irreverent humour bubbles continually away in the background, annoying his superiors and exasperating his subordinates. For a nice change, he isn’t some grizzled loner but has a happy marriage to a professional musician.

I liked the fact that the loss of a little girl isn’t just treated as some dry academic puzzle – there is a real sense of poignancy of a life unfulfilled as Slider and his team try to grapple with who had murdered her and buried her in the back garden. I also enjoyed the fact that we don’t have a CSI-type approach where they have shedloads of forensic evidence to answer all the questions. In fact, there is precious little to go on, except the faulty memories of those involved all those years ago.

As with all the best police procedural mysteries, there are a number of candidates and possibilities, though I did guess one of the major twists well before it was revealed. Not that it mattered all that much – I was too invested in the main characters to mind and besides, there were still some interesting developments. There is a lovely subplot that develops regarding one of Slider’s team and a youngster caught up in the system.

I appreciated the absence of any grisly details, undue violence or gore – but I certainly wouldn’t peg this in the cosy mystery genre. All in all, a thoroughly entertaining read that comes highly recommended.

While I obtained the arc of Old Bones from the publisher via NetGalley, this has in no way influenced my unbiased review.
9/10
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It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last. I appreciated this classic police procedural, engrossing and entertaining.
It's well written, the plot is interesting and entertaining, the cast of characters well developed and fleshed out.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Well developed characters and a well written police procedural. Solid police work on a cold case makes this an interesting whodunit.
My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review..
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Old Bones by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Old bones have been discovered in an England house plot and it gets assigned to Slider, to get him out of the way and out of his bosses hair...
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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has been writing the DCI Bill Slider mysteries for a long time, and they are solid police procedurals.  This is the nineteenth of the series and it doesn’t suffer any diminution or signs of age.  Although there are numerous references to earlier works, matters are sufficiently explained so that a reader new to the series would have no problem understanding what is going on.

A young couple has hired someone to pull down an old shed in the garden of their relatively new home, and a skeleton is discovered.  The police from the Shepherd’s Bush station are called in, and an investigation is started.  They discover a “misper,” that is the report of a missing person, a fourteen-year-old girl who had gone missing from that house twenty-five years before.  The search is on for her killer.

I don’t like spoilers, so I am not going to give any.  Suffice it to say that the investigation is both thorough and very interesting.  Unlike in some books, things take time; there are no nearly magical leaps of detection which the reader cannot follow, rather, Harrod-Eagles plays very fair with the reader.  I was able to figure out the mystery after Bill Slider, but before it was revealed.  I was very pleased.

If you like police procedurals, I recommend “Old Bones,” in fact, I recommend the entire series.  You could go further and do much, much worse.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.  The opinions are my own.
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This was the second one I’ve read of the long-running Bill Slider series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, and I look forward to seeking out and reading others.  The characters are well-developed and true to themselves, with personalities ranging from the serious to the silly (I loved all the malapropisms from Slider’s awkward colleague).  It’s refreshing to read a well-written, classic police procedural when every other book seems to want in on the trendy unreliable-female-protagonist or sinister-seeming-spouse psychological thriller genre.  Bill Slider does solid police work on a cold case and gets the job done.  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital advance review copy.
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This is the first Bill Slider book and Cynthia Harrod-Eagles book that I have read and I loved it.
I checked the copyright several times as there is very much a retro feel to the story-there are DNA tests that take a real world time frame to come back, very real dogged policework which relies on communication skills, eye for details which has the feel of an older book.
Bill Slider is a detective on the outs-an investigation into child sex abuse and exploitation which reached as high as a commanding officer has left him with a small coterie of loyal staff anddetermination to make investigation Neptune bring justice to the girls he dealt with in the previous book . There are enough details and carrying on of the story in this to make me want to go back and read it whilst carrying on the story as a side plot.
The main story concerns the discovery of human remians in a residential back garden.
The owners are furious, and demanding compensation from the police in a darkly funny scene where the police have to search the whole property-the spectre of Rose and Fred West and John Christie looming over the proceedings.
The bones turn out to belong to a young girl, and here begins the paper trail as the detectives work backwards through time to establish the previous owners, the way the street was laid out 25 years ago as well as identifying who the bones belong to.
The key to this book is that the characters are built through the dialogue. Most of the story would easily be doubled by another writer, here the author skilfully uses vernacular and colloquialisms to go back and forth between suspects, witnesses and past residents. You have a sense that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has a keen ear for the way people talk and what they reveal is as important as the pasues they take-or don't-between breaths.
I worked out what was going on half way through the book but that absolutely did not spoil my enjoyment of this police procedural-the joy is in reading the journey of the whoudunnit rather than just the thrill of working it out.
I am hopeful that there will be a more in this series and would recommend it to fans of police procedurals, detective fiction and mysteries.
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An unusual story line which actually shows a human side to the detectives involving in this case. An interesting storyline that keeps the reader involved in all that is going on.  Look forward to catching up with Bill Slider in future stories and the prequel of this story.
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This is a fine traditional British police procedural series with a recurring cast I'm always happy to meet again. This mystery is refreshingly human-scale (no ghoulish serial killers, no plots to undermine the world, thankfully no psychological games being played by women who are called "girl" in the title). In this case, I guessed the solution well in advance, but still enjoyed getting there and seeing the mystery worked out with just a touch of Ruth Rendell-style creepiness about the murder and its resolution. A treat for traditionalists.
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DCI Slider works out of the Shepards Bush police station in London. Some old bones, in fact an entire skeleton has been discovered under a couple of paving slabs at the bottom of a garden in his precinct. The forensic pathologist has determined the bones to have lain in the ground at least twenty years and The skeleton is of a 13-14 year old female.
Slider’s boss is thrilled to assign Slider this case as he is not the flavor of the month with the top brass as he has been investigating an underage sex ring with connections to several very senior police officers.
Bill slider is middle aged, on his second wife and starting his second family. Refreshingly he is a humble and self effacing guy without the conceit of so many fictional police detectives.  He treats his team with respect which leads to camaraderie not friction.  He also delegates a lot, in so many books the DCI and the sergeant do everything, but in this book, many different constables do a lot toward solving the crime..
Intelligently and humorously written with likable characters.  A clever plot with a massive twist at the end.
The 19th book in the series, it was the first Bill Slider for me, but won’t be the last.  He has been compared to Inspector Thanet by Dorothy Simpson, and I agree, but I also see similarities with DCI Diamond by Peter Lovesey.
Thank you netgalley and Black Thorn for the opportunity to read this book.  I enjoyed it very much.
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A solid police procedural portraying the right amount of office politics, hard work, and intelligence. DCI Bill Slider did seem to have ruffled a few feathers in the office in his previous book which caused him to be assigned to old bones. 

Bones were found in the garden by a young couple, and they were surmised to have been buried 20 years ago. 14 year old Amanda Knight had disappeared from the garden around the same time. A most difficult of all cold cases, there seemed to be no leads. The suspects and the witnesses were dead or lost. Nobody seemed to know much. 

My first book by author Cynthia Harrod Eagles, and it took me some time to get oriented to the characters and their style of working. This was the 19th book in the series, my first, it started slow, and it was difficult to follow the way the office worked with the fallout of the previous case. But once the investigation started rolling, it was one wicked ride. 

DCI Slider and his team form a cohesive team who painstakingly followed every single path they could, even if it led to a dead end. Their passion and single mindedness had to be commended upon. The author had made them quite interesting, enough for me to get hooked to the plot. 

The whole book was a routine police procedural, it went where it was supposed to go until the last few chapters. Then it turned upon itself and gave me the shock of my reading life when a massive twist was revealed. I COULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED THE DIRECTION THE PLOT WOULD GO!! 

The book finished with the explosive end where the team had to work with the new reveal. Slider was fantastic at the way he deduced the right perp. One more killer caught, on to my next!!
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The latest Bill Slider mystery is well written although I guessed correctly the main mysterious element before it was actually revealed. The Detective Inspector is a well-developed character, who is clever, dedicated and can "think outside the box" as is so often a necessity. He works well with his team which I find a positive factor in the mysteries I enjoy. He has a positive family life which I also enjoy. Reminds me of Dorothy Simpson's Detective Thanet series in that respect. The plot was interesting. A skeleton is unearthed in a residential garden, and since it is at least 15-25 years old, the normal forensic evidence of a murder site is not present. A missing person case is connected to the skeleton but the team has to spread out in multiple directions to find and interview people who were around two decades ago. One quibble, I found the plopping of a minimally explained corruption case, Operation Neptune at the beginning disconcerting since there was little context provided to have its inclusion productively add to the narrative.
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A great story that is an easy read. Bill Slider is a likeable character and I definitely want to read more books about him.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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